Thursday, April 30, 2020

Rosamond Dauer: 
Bullfrog’s Mother
“Excuse me,” says the little voice to the woman walking down Main Street, “but aren’t you Bullfrog’s mother?”
“Why, yes I am,” replies the woman. 
A young girl smiles, thanks her and runs off to tell her friends she just talked to the lady who wrote some of her favorite books. 
She was one of many children in the last third of the 20th Century who enjoyed the tales  of Rosamond Dauer, a Ridgefield writer, editor and mother. But writing children’s stories was not a career Dauer had contemplated as an English major at Middlebury College.
Rosamond Mueller Dauer was born in 1934 in New York City. After graduating from Middlebury in 1956, she taught advanced writing, literature and drama at Colby-Sawyer College and then took a job with Grolier publishing as an editor of the Encyclopedia Americana. Later she became curator of education at the Staten Island Institute of the Arts.
After she married John Dauer, head of a leather supply company, and had two children, she stopped writing for others and began writing for herself.  However, she said in a 1980 interview, “when I started writing again, it was poetry.”
Her poems were published in Poetry, Yankee, and other periodicals. 
Then she started doing humorous poems for kids — and her own two boys, Matt and Chris, thought they were pretty funny. That, in turn, led to stories for children and, with the help of illustrators, books for children.
The first was Bullfrog Grows Up, inspired by the boys’ bringing home a frog in a bucket captured from a pond near their house on Olmstead Lane. She made them return the frog, but turned their find into a story about a family of mice adopting a small frog that winds up growing many times larger than the mice — and even their mouse house.
It was followed by Bullfrog Builds A House and Bullfrog and Gertrude Go Camping.
Other tales included My Friend, Jasper Jones, about a child who gets tired of cleaning up after his make-believe friend, and Mrs. Piggery Snout, about  “the mess and confusion her family creates at home [that] keeps Mrs. Piggery Snout from writing her newspaper column, until she takes some drastic measures.”
Another book was also inspired by her sons. “My kids think our cats are too big and I thought, what if a cat started to grow and just got bigger and bigger and bigger,” she said. The result was The 300 Pound Cat, which one critic called “fun for grownups, with great sound effects for reading to little ones.”

 Dauer was also interested in antiques and old houses — she lived in an 18th Century farmhouse on Olmstead Lane from the mid-1970s to the early 1980s. She retired from writing books in the mid-1980s and, over the subsequent years, lived in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Florida where she was active in volunteering in schools and libraries.
She died in 2014 at the age of 79.
While Rosamond Dauer had written a half dozen children’s books, her favorites were the Bullfrog series.
“I’m now getting paid for doing things that used to get me in trouble when I was a child, being an oddball, a non-conformist,” she said of their story lines. “I harness in words the same fantasy life I had as a child.”
And, she added, “there is a large child lurking within me that’s not going to give up.”

Macolm Davie: 
The Piping Preacher Who Listened
Malcolm Davie spent much of his life trying to help others. One way he did that was being a blowhard — not with words, but with pipes. 
Davie was best known in Ridgefield as a bagpiper, but over his long life he was also a minister, a violinist, a math teacher, a poet, a songwriter, a counselor, and an ice-cream maker who held four university degrees. And he was a man who was always willing to listen to the problems of others.
Malcolm Henderson Davie was born in 1918 in North Bay, Ontario, into a family that included four professional concert singers. A talented musician himself, he played the violin and taught himself to play the bagpipes.
Davie earned  a bachelor’s degree from the University of Western Ontario in 1945, a master's from the University of Toronto in 1947, a bachelor of divinity degree from Andover-Newton Theological School in 1950, and a master’s in psychology from Boston University in 1959. He became a U.S. citizen in 1955.
At various times he worked for the Davie family ice cream business, taught math, was a minister, and served as a counselor at several institutions. His ministerial work included serving at the United Church of Christ in Monroe  and with several congregations in Massachusetts.

“Malcolm could always be counted on to engage in a thought-provoking conversation on any one of various philosophical or ethical topics,” said one longtime friend. “A former minister, Malcolm readily sensed the troubles or concerns of others and could be counted on for a sympathetic ear and appropriate words of wisdom.”
For 20 years he toured the United States with his own musical program, “A Wee Bit of Bonnie Scotland,” playing his bagpipes in full Scottish regalia and offering his audiences tales and humor of Scotland.
He made many piping appearances in Ridgefield where he spent the last 30 years of his life. He was also well known by many area children as the man who operated the carousel at the Danbury Fair Mall a couple of days a week and by many athletes as the man who managed Yanity Gym for the Parks and Recreation Department.
His interest in poetry was also seen locally in poems published in The Press and elsewhere. In honor of Arbor Day in 1987, he wrote the poem, “The Hills and Trees of Fair Connecticut,” and composed music to go with it. He performed it at the Ridgefield Community Center and, at the suggestion of then State Rep. Barbara Ireland, presented it to the State Legislature on Earth Day.
His 1990 poem “Spring Comes to Connecticut” ended with this stanza: 
Spring in Connecticut! 
Our old familiar land, refurnished! 
No human effort brings it here. 
No human hand prevents its coming. 
Take it as your own, 
This lavish gift from heaven.
He died in 2006 at the age of 87.
Davie once told an interviewer: “The greatest satisfaction in life is not self-interest but interest in the people around you — to give a person a boost or to let them know they are important to talk to.”
However, his help for troubled souls wasn’t always verbal, as Ridgefield artist Bob Crofut found out. 
“We were good friends,” Crofut told Ridgefield Press editor Macklin Reid. “We used to talk a lot, used to have dinner down at Friendly’s a lot. One time I went to see him over at the old gymnasium and I was kind of discouraged about something — something was bothering me.” 
Davie listened, but didn't offer advice.
“Instead of talking to me, he grabbed the pipes and he played ‘Scotland the Brave’ — in the gymnasium. It reverberated like crazy. It’s very moving — they play it in battle. No other words were needed. I left kind of lifted up.”

Richard M. Powers:
The Art of Science Fiction
Millions of  readers — especially of sci-fi — have seen his pictures, but few knew the name of Richard M. Powers, the artist whose work revolutionized science-fiction art and has appeared on the covers of more than 800 of the best science fiction books.
Powers’s career spanned more than 50 years. “During that time he established himself as one of America’s preeminent illustrators for science fiction novels as he transformed that style of illustration with what he once termed ‘abstract surrealist expressionism,’ nearly creating a style of fantasy art,” wrote Ridgefield Press reporter Jonathan Pingle in 1996.
In 1983, Locus, the science fiction industry’s newspaper, described his work as having “revolutionized science fiction book cover art in the fifties.” 
Richard Michael Gorman Powers — he sometimes used the name Gorman Powers, reflecting his mother’s maiden name — was born in Chicago in 1921. He studied at the Art Institute of Chicago and the University of Illinois, and during World War II served with the Army Signal Corps. After the war he continued his studies at The New School in New York.
In 1949 Powers began doing art for Doubleday’s science fiction hardcover books, and was an almost immediate success. He wound up doing the cover art for such classics as Isaac Asimov’s Pebble in the Sand and Theodore Sturgeon’s More Than Human
In 1952 he was included in the New Talent Exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, where his work is now part of the permanent collection. Over the years he has also exhibited at  the Metropolitan Museum of Art,  the National Academy, and at the Whitney Museum, all in New York, and the Corcoran Gallery in Washington.  
In 2001, Jane Frank, Vincent Di Fate, and son Richard Gid Powers wrote a book, The Art of Richard Powers.  DiFate, a science fiction artist, said Powers had “an emotional rhythm that is captivating, plumbing the depths of the human spirit and challenging the will of that spirit to survive in a future life with danger. These paintings are far more than insightful, they are, in a word, brilliant.”
As an illustrator, his work went beyond science fiction, appearing in all areas of publishing from the late 1940s to the 1990s. He produced literally thousands of book jackets and covers including the first edition of Bernard Malamud’s The Natural, the Dell Laurel Poets series, and most the Easton Press’s editions of Hemingway’s works.
He also did the book jacket and some interior illustrations for Silvio Bedini’s Ridgefield in Review, the 1958 history published for the town’s 250th anniversary celebration. In 1983, for the town’s 275th birthday, he did a poster of the Battle of Ridgefield.
 Powers and his family moved to Ramapoo Road in 1954, then to Old Branchville Road. In 1966, he sold his Old Branchville Road house, building a smaller home on his remaining land on Bloomer Road. 
He died in 1996 in Madrid, Spain, where he had been wintering each year with his daughter, Elizabeth. (His son, Richard Gid Powers, is a history professor and author of such books as  Secrecy and Power: The Life of J. Edgar Hoover and Broken: The Troubled Past and Uncertain Future of the FBI.)
Richard Powers was posthumously inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame in 2008 and the Society of Illustrators Hall of Fame in 2016. 
He was also honored in a rather unusual way. In 2017, Andy Partridge, former frontman of the British New wave band XTC, released a CD of music inspired by Powers’ art. According to Partridge, as a boy, he used to borrow three science fiction books a week, take them home and instead of reading them, he’d stare at the Richard Powers art. “Mesmerized by the covers,” he imagined his own stories to match the paintings as he stared at them, sometimes for hours.  Later, he created “a sort of soundtrack to the paintings,” as one critic put it.  “The resulting album [is] a musical accompaniment to the variety of alien landscapes which Powers illustrated so profusely.”
The name of the CD album? “Powers.”




Roger Kahn: 
A Boy Of Summer
Roger Kahn’s 1972 bestselling book about the Brooklyn Dodgers was so famous that when New York Governor George Pataki created a commission in 1997 to explore bringing the Dodgers back to Brooklyn, he named Kahn a member. 
The Boys of Summer, which had led the New York Times bestseller list for weeks, told the story of the 1950s Dodgers. Called by James Michener “the finest American book on sports,” it sold hundreds of thousands of copies and is still in print. In 2002, it was ranked #2 on Sports Illustrated’s list of the best 100 sports books of all time  (A.J. Liebling’s The Sweet Science, about boxing, was #1.)
Roger Kahn was born in Brooklyn in 1927 to a trivia-loving father who provided questions for the radio quiz show, “Information Please,” and a baseball-hating mother who taught her son poetry and Shakespeare. Both were teachers.
In the early 1950s he quit New York University after three years to join The New York Herald Tribune as a copy boy (he admitted to Ridgefield Press reporter Linette Burton that he got the job “by using a clever device, which was: my father knew the managing editor.”). 
At the age of 24, he was assigned to cover the Dodgers. “It was a rich time in the game’s history, especially in New York, the undisputed center of the baseball universe, home to three teams and three perfervid fan bases,” said The New York Times.
He spent two years reporting on the Dodgers and was then assigned to cover New York Giants’ baseball.
In the mid-1950s, he left the Herald Tribune to work as a sports editor for Newsweek, and to freelance for Sports Illustrated, The Saturday Evening Post and Esquire.  By the 1960s he was writing books on religion and sociology, including The Passionate People: What It Means to Be A Jew in America
Then came The Boys of Summer, the first of what was to be many books about sports and sporting personalities, but clearly, the best of them all.  The Times called it “as influential a baseball book as has been written in the last 50 years,” but Sports Illustrated qualified that, terming it “A baseball book the same way ‘Moby-Dick’ is a fishing book.”
The Boys of Summer was coming out  just as Kahn was moving to 830 North Salem Road in 1971, and the promotional tours and interviews that the book prompted made writing tough. 
“Each day I keep kicking the wastebasket and beating my brains to get out one page a day,” he told Nelson Merrell of The Press in June 1972. 
During a long promotional-tour period, Kahn was twice interviewed on the TV show of future Ridgefielder Dick Cavett, but he most remembered being terrified by having to appear on Johnny Carson’s show, knowing that Carson liked clever “one-liners” from his guests. “Nervous as hell on the night of the show, I got called to go on,” he told Merrell. “After the introduction, I sat down and Carson asked, ‘How’s it feel to be an instant smash?’ Then I delivered my rehearsed reply, ‘Better than a shot in the mouth.’” 
While in Ridgefield he also did a stint as a visiting professor of creative writing at Colorado College. He moved back to the city around 1976.
Kahn went on to write more than 20 books — many still in print — including, 
  • Rickey & Robinson: The True, Untold Story of the Integration of Baseball, an account of how his close friend, Jackie Robinson, got to be a Dodger.
  • Memories of Summer: When Baseball Was an Art, and Writing About It a Game, with stories of his Depression-era childhood, his reporting career, and his personal acquaintances with many great ballplayers.
  • October Men, about the 1978 Yankees championship season.
  • The Head Game: Baseball Seen From the Pitcher’s Mound, examining the psychological battle between hitter and pitcher.
  • Joe and Marilyn: A Memory of Love, about the marriage of Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe.
  • Good Enough to Dream, covering the lives and hopes of players in the lower minor leagues 
Kahn died in February 2020 at the age of 92.
Over his years of covering the game, Roger Kahn made many friends among the old-time ballplayers but few were as close as Early Wynn, a hard-drinking, Hall of Fame pitcher who was a longtime Yankee nemesis.
In 1973 he told The Press’s Merrell that Wynn was a good writer who did a regular column for the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Editors at the Saturday Evening Post wanted Kahn to get his friend to write an article about the 1959 World Series between Chicago White Sox and the Los Angeles Dodgers (in which Wynn was 1-1). They offered Wynn $1,250.
Wynn did the piece but when the Post editors insisted on his rewriting it, the pitcher balked and told Kahn he wanted $1,500.
“I called the editors, told them Wynn wanted more money, and got him $2,000,” Kahn said. “He’s bought my drinks ever since.”

Monday, April 20, 2020

Edward Brolin:  
The Principal Who Pitched 
to ‘The Splendid Splinter’
Ed Brolin loved being a teacher and a principal. But get him talking about baseball and he sparkled. Brolin had, after all, come close to being a professional ball player and had — as a teenager — pitched to one of the greatest hitters of all time.
 A native of Boston, Edward M. Brolin was born  in 1930  and graduated from Bridgewater (Mass.) State Teachers College with a degree in biology, later earning a master's from Fairfield University. During the Korean War,  he served in the Marine Corps.
After a period of working as an insurance investigator in the Boston area, he turned to education and in 1963 took a job teaching biology at Ridgefield High School on East Ridge. 
“I came to Ridgefield because it was a good place to teach, to live and to raise my family,” he said in a 1990 interview. “I’ve never been sorry for that decision.”
In 1966,  Brolin was named the Jaycees “Outstanding Teacher of the Year.” He was elected president of the Ridgefield Teachers Association a year later. 
Brolin became chairman of the science department at Ridgefield High School in 1968.  Two years later, he was named assistant principal of the school, but only a few months after that appointment, he became principal of East Ridge Junior High School (today a middle school).
Brolin led the junior high for 13 years, including a difficult period in the 1970s when it was the most overcrowded school in the system — some 1,300 seventh and eighth graders were packed into a building designed for about 850. The school system had more than 6,000 students back then — the systemwide enrollment today is about 4,000. 
Because of his background as a teacher and administrator at the high school,   Brolin was named chairman of a committee that planned the use of the “new” high school that was about to open in 1972 on North Salem Road. He served on many other curriculum and administrative committees, and headed the Ridgefield Administrators Association for 10 years, often negotiating contracts. 
Around 1984, Brolin moved to the high school, serving as assistant principal until his retirement in 1990.
When he announced that retirement, he told an interviewer he felt the best part of his career was working with the students, parents and teachers. “Deep down,” he admitted, “I hope they’ll miss me just a little bit.”
“We’re going to miss him,”  said Guidance Counselor Arlene Heissan. Besides providing “the best advice,” she explained, “he cares about kids and the faculty.”
Ed Brolin died in 2002 at the age of 71. He and his wife Mary, a former elementary school teacher who died three years later, had lived on Walnut Grove Road where they raised three sons.
An avid sportsman and collector of sports memorabilia,  Brolin had been a top college baseball player who was once scouted by the Boston Red Sox. When he was still in high school in 1948, he was invited to a tryout with the Sox at Fenway Park. There, he was given the opportunity to pitch to Ted Williams. 
“He hit a couple that I think are still going,” Brolin said during a 1983 interview at a Ted Williams appearance in Greenwich. “But it’s something I’ll remember for the rest of his my life.”
He also remained a lifelong Sox fan.
In Ridgefield, Brolin shared with kids his love of baseball by serving as a coach in both Little League and Pony baseball. His first team, Ridgefield Savings Bank, became the undefeated Little League champion that year. 

Elizabeth Biglow Ballard: 
The Lady of the Park
     Some people are influential through the works they performed in life. Some, like Elizabeth Ballard, were influential in death as well. She bequeathed Ballard Park, the five acres of her old homestead that have brought enjoyment to countless Ridgefielders of all ages and that have helped keep the village business district within its ancient boundaries.
     Ballard Park has been the scene of countless concerts, and it was probably 19th Century musicians who helped bring Mrs. Ballard’s family to Ridgefield.
     Elizabeth Biglow Ballard was born in 1876 in New York City. Her father, Lucius Horatio Biglow, was a major publisher of music, particularly hymns, whose company was called Biglow and Main. The Main was Sylvester Main, a Ridgefield native who was a music teacher and hymn composer. His son, Hubert Main, also born in Ridgefield, was also a composer who wrote the music for many of the songs Biglow published. And both Mains were close friends of Fanny Crosby, the blind hymnist who spent much of her childhood in Ridgefield and eventually wrote more than 8,000 hymns, many published by Biglow and Main.
     With all those Ridgefield ties probably singing the praises of the town, as well as of the Lord, Mr. Biglow may have been inspired to check out Ridgefield, liked what he saw, and in 1887 bought a home recently vacated by Dr. Daniel Lucius Adams, a retired physician who many credit with being a founder of modern-day baseball. The house had earlier belonged to Col. Philip Burr Bradley, a Revolutionary War leader.
Biglow called his new Main Street estate Graeloe, a word made up of the name of his wife, Anna Graham, and his own name, with the E’s added to give it a Gaelic flavor. 
     
     Elizabeth would have been about 11 when she arrived in Ridgefield; she spent much of  the rest of her life at Graeloe. In 1906, she married Edward Lathrop Ballard (1870-1937), founder and former chairman of the executive committee of the Merchants Fire Assurance Corporation of New York. They had two daughters and a son, and lived at both Graeloe and a home on Park Avenue in Manhattan.
     Over the years Ballard was active in the community. In 1936 during the height of the Depression, she and 10 other women got together to do something about problems of juvenile delinquency. They decided to create the Ridgefield Boys’ Club to keep boys busy and out of trouble (girls, presumably, were not troublemakers in need of activities beyond the home!). Mrs. Ballard served as chairman of the club’s board for many years and in 1960, she received the National Boys Club’s Keystone Award.
     She joined the Ridgefield Garden Club shortly after its founding in 1914 and  twice was its president. “Mrs. Ballard was keenly interested in horticulture and maintained the flower garden on Gilbert Street which had been started by her parents,” The Ridgefield Press said. “Her entries in flower shows won many prizes over the years.”
When she died in 1964 at the age of 87, she ordered that her house be torn down so that the property could be used as a park. She felt that Ridgefield already owned an old mansion on Main Street — the Lounsbury House — and that a second mansion would be a burden.
     However, a couple of outbuildings were retained, including her greenhouse, now used by both Ridgefield and Caudatowa Garden Clubs. She also left community grants totalling $250,000 (about $2.1 million today), among them $25,000 ($210,000) for a fund to maintain the trees and shrubs in the new park.
     In her will, Mrs. Ballard explained her bequest of the park: “Having resided the greater part of my life in the heart of Ridgefield, I have become increasingly aware of the expansion of business and commercial activities to the exclusion of open land available for the pleasure, rest  and recreation of the citizens of the town,” she said. “The easterly portion of my home property, with its landscaping and varied trees and shrubs, originally planted by my father, the late L. Horatio Biglow, over 75 years ago, has appeared to me to be ideally suited for a park to satisfy the increasing need for an area close to the business center of the town where persons, both young and old, may be free to gather in pleasant surroundings for rest and recreation.”

Dino ‘Ching’ Cingolani: 
A Man of Mounds and Islands
Few today will remember his name, but time was in Ridgefield when Dino “Ching” Cingolani was almost revered among local  baseball fans. The Ridgefield native was wooed by several major league baseball teams for his pitching prowess, played in the minors, and was once praised by the New York Giants great, Carl Hubbell.
A Ridgefield native, Dino Vincent Cingolani was born in 1927, son of  Gino and Ida Pambianchi Cingolani. He grew up in the Branchville section of town and graduated in 1945 from Ridgefield High School. There, he had starred on the baseball team and helped lead it to conference championship — not only with his pitching, but with his .485 batting average.
The New York Giants, Brooklyn Dodgers and Philadelphia Nationals all offered him contracts to pitch. However, the 18-year-old chose to take a look at the Giants and, in 1946, headed off to training camp in Florida — on the train trip down, he played pinochle with stars Buddy Kerr, Mel Ott and Hal Schumacher.  
In camp he pitched against Bobby Thompson and others, with Carl Hubbell umpiring. Hubbell at one point declared that the Giants had  “another Bob Feller.”
However, after six weeks in camp, Cigolani returned to Branchville, having balked at signing a contract that the Giants had offered him. Meanwhile, Jack Barry,  coach at  Holy Cross College, offered him a scholarship to come to Worcester, Mass. Back in those days Holy Cross was a baseball powerhouse and had had more than 60 graduates who went into the majors. 
Cigolani thought it over and opted finally to sign with the Giants. He later said it was “a big mistake,” but didn’t explain why.
Starting in 1946, Cingolani played four seasons for the Giants' farm teams in such places as Erie, Springfield, Ogdensburg, and Peekskill with the likes of Hoyt Wilhelm and Bobby Thompson — taking a break to serve in the Army and then returning in 1952 to play at Knoxville. 
Over five seasons he compiled a record of 46 wins and 36 losses, with a batting average of .313. While playing for the Springfield Giants in 1947, he had his best hitting season, with a .347 average, but it was also his only losing season as a pitcher, 11-15.
In 1952, after a season with Knoxville, he decided to abandon minor league play, and return to Ridgefield where he pitched for local teams and in the Danbury City League for many years.  
When Cingolani was honored by the Ridgefield Old Timers Association in 1995, ROTA observed, “Chink would be the first to admit that he made some ill-timed and poor decisions along the way, undoubtedly blocking a sure road to the majors.” The association did not say what those decisions were.
Cingolani spent many years working as a foreman at the Perkin-Elmer Corp. in Norwalk, and then as a salesman.  In 1969 he and his wife, the former Alice Salvestrini, moved to Norwalk.  
Later in life Cingolani focused on his other favorite sport, fishing. He did a lot of it off the shore of Norwalk and he and Alice became very involved promoting public use of and camping on some of the wild Norwalk Islands — particularly Shea and Grassy Islands owned by the city. Alice Cingolani, in fact, was Norwalk’s “Island Warden.”
Adults, Dino told an interviewer in 1990, enjoy the fishing and the scenery, but it’s children who get the most out of the islands.
“You know what it does for them, to take them out, have them build a fire at night?” he said. “They can pick up a shell, dig for clams, or catch a fish. You can’t just watch life on TV.”
Dino Cingolani died in Norwalk in 2004 at the age of 76.
In May of 1946, when he was entering the minor leagues, Cingolani filled out a questionnaire for the American Baseball Bureau in Chicago. Aside from the basics, such as his height (5 foot 9 inches) and weight (160), the form asked for his “ambition in baseball.”
“To get to the top,” he replied.
And “what do you consider your most interesting or unusual experience in baseball?”
That, he replied, was “pitching a no hitter and losing.”
That rare event occurred on April 26, 1944, when the right-hander hurled the no-hitter against Wooster Prep, only to lose 3-2. He faced 23 men in six innings; six reached first — five on walks and one on a fielding error. Unfortunately for Cingolani and Ridgefield, the locals committed errors in the third and fifth innings with walked Wooster players on base, allowing three runners to score.

Norman Craig: 
‘Stormin’ Norman’
“They used to call him the best-dressed fireman, because he always wore a shirt and a tie,” said Elsie Fossi Craig. 
Her husband Norman, longtime owner of Craig’s Jewelry Store, was an active volunteer fireman for 15 years. When a call came in, he’d have to politely ask customers to leave, lock up the store, and run to the fire station to drive the second truck. 
Born in 1927 in Bronxville, N.Y.,  Norman David Craig grew up in Scarsdale, N.Y., After graduating from high school and moving to Ridgefield in 1946, he joined the U.S. Marine Corps for two years and then began watch-making studies. He entered the jewelry business in 1950, when his mother, Helen Craig, bought the 40-year-old jewelry store of Francis D. Martin, then located near today's Roma Pizzeria. Seventy years later, at around 110, Craig's is the second oldest local retail business in Ridgefield  (only Bissell’s is older). 
In 1951, he and Elsie Fossi – who had been Mr. Martin’s secretary for nine years – were married. While  Craig technically retired in 1983, he continued for many years to help at the store, which was taken over by son William and daughters Karen Petrini and Lori Corsak. 
Craig had the rare distinction of having been a member of both the Democratic and Republican Town Committees. He started out a Republican, and served on that town committee and on the Board of Tax Review. A Democrat during the administration of his brother-in-law, First Selectman Louis J. Fossi, he served on various town study committees, was a delegate to the 1978 Democratic State Convention and was almost elected state representative in 1981. 
Later in life, he returned to the Republican fold, and in 1998, won a seat on the Board of Finance. 
His community service was extraordinary. He was an incorporator of the Visiting Nurse Association and the Boys and Girls Club, trustee of the Family Y, an assistant chief and president of the Ridgefield Volunteer Fire Department, director of the old Teen Center, Boy Scout scoutmaster, president and founding member of the Kiwanis Club, a founder with Clarence Korker of the Chamber of Commerce, and a sponsor of many Little League and other youth sports teams. 
He was a member of the American Legion and helped plan countless Memorial Day parades — and invariably marched in them, sometimes with the Legion and sometimes with the Knights of Columbus.
A devout Catholic, Craig served on the St. Mary Parish advisory board, its fund-raising committee and as an acolyte, and was a grand knight of the Marquette Council Knights of Columbus. He was also a supporter of Immaculate High School in Danbury, where he served on the original fund-raising committee that helped build the school, was president of the parents club and was a recipient of the lifetime achievement award.
For relaxation, Craig loved golf — and colorful golfing attire. He once remarked, “The Ridgefield Golf Course, I think, is one of the best things this town has done, as far as athletics is concerned for adults and kids — it gets a lot of play.”
All this activity helped earn him the Chamber of Commerce Public Service Award in 1986 and Kiwanis Citizen of the Year Award in 1990.
It also earned him the nickname, Stormin’ Norman.

Alice Paul: 
Equal Rights for Women
After she turned 90 in 1975, Alice Paul, co-author of the Equal Rights Amendment, showed a reporter a red, white and blue doll. 
“This is Miss Liberty, who didn’t get her liberty in 1776,” Dr. Paul said. “If you are going to have liberty, you have to have what the ERA is – an equality in everything about earning a living, everything in the economic life of a woman.” 
One of the nation’s most famous women's rights advocates and a part-time Ridgefielder for 40 years, Dr. Paul was then living in Altnacraig convalescent home on High Ridge. The next year, she returned to her native New Jersey, where she died in 1977.
Alice Stokes Paul was born in 1885 in Moorestown, N.J., at “Paulsdale,” a large farmhouse that is now a museum devoted to her life and legacy. Her banker father and suffragist mother were both Quakers who promoted equality for women in work and education. “When the Quakers were founded…one of their principles was and is equality of the sexes,” Paul said years later. “So I never had any other idea…the principle was always there.” 
After graduating first in her class from a private school,  Paul attended Swarthmore College, then a Quaker institution, one of whose founding supporters was her grandfather. Over the years she earned a half dozen bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in social work as well as the law. “I took law so I would be more able to help our cause,” she told Linette Burton of The Ridgefield Press in a 1968 interview. That cause was women's rights, no doubt influenced by that Quaker heritage. 
After two years as a social worker in New York City, she went to Great Britain in 1907 to study and joined suffrage campaigns of Emmeline Pankhurst and her daughters. She was jailed three times in England. 
Returning to the States in 1912, she “breathed new life into the ebbing suffrage movement,” her Press obituary said. The National Woman Suffrage Association sent her to Washington, D.C., to direct its campaign for a federal suffrage amendment. She led protests and marches, the most famous of which was in 1913 on the night before Woodrow Wilson’s inauguration, when 8,000 women marched down Pennsylvania Avenue. (Wilson at the time opposed a Constitutional amendment to allow women to vote.)
Paul founded the National Woman’s Party in 1916 and the following year, she and 16 others at a rally were arrested for obstructing traffic and sentenced to six months in a workhouse.  When they went on a hunger strike, the women were force-fed and moved to a psychopathic ward as a way to discredit them. Their treatment sparked a public outcry, and 22 days after their arrest, they were freed.
A year later, President Wilson gave his support to suffrage but it took two more years for the Senate, House, and the required 36 states to approve the Constitutional amendment.
Having a part in the passage of the 19th Amendment “was the most useful thing I ever did,” Paul said. 
Recalling these years in the 1975 interview, Dr. Paul mentioned the song that imprisoned women used to sing, at first in England.  “It was ‘shoulder to shoulder, friend to friend,’” she said.  “We brought it back to this country when we came. And any time anybody went back to prison, we always took our song along.” 
In 1921, Dr. Paul and Crystal Eastman drafted the Equal Rights Amendment, aimed at guaranteeing equal treatment for the sexes.  It stated simply: “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.”
Starting in 1923, the ERA was introduced into every session of Congress till 1972 when it was finally passed and sent to the states for ratification. Only 35 of the needed 38 legislatures ratified it,  the congressional approval expired, and the ERA failed to be adopted. (Current efforts to pass an ERA amendment seem to be in legal limbo.) 
 In 1938 Paul founded the World Woman’s Party that successfully pressured for an equal rights pledge in the United Nations charter.  Two years before her 1977 death, she expressed her disappointment that the Equal Rights Amendment had not been adopted. “The great victory was getting the vote,” she had said. But “it’s unthinkable that we can’t complete it with economic equality.”
Dr. Paul had a home at 513 Branchville Road from the 1930s until 1976. Overlooking John’s Pond, the place was chiefly a retreat where she could rest from her busy work schedule in Washington.
Alice Paul is widely recognized today, especially on the occasion of the centennial of the 19th Amendment. “Few individuals have had as much impact on American history as has Alice Paul,” says the Alice Paul Institute, an organization headquartered in her Moorestown birthplace that promotes her legacy and her life’s work for gender equality. “Her life symbolizes the long struggle for justice in the United States and around the world. Her vision was the ordinary notion that women and men should be equal partners in society.”
Paul has also been recognized in a singular way: She is among the very few American women whose face appears on both a U.S. stamp and a U.S coin. And her numismatic commemoration came about in a rather unusual fashion.
 In 2007, the United States Mint began producing what it called “the First Spouse Coins.” Each was aimed at honoring the wife of a president, and each was issued at the same time their husbands were honored on circulating $1 coins, minted in the Presidential Coin Series. A problem was that some presidents had no spouses when they were in office. One was Chester A. Arthur, whose wife, Ellen, had died in 1880, a year before he took office. In seeking a woman appropriate as a “first spouse” coin corresponding to Chester Arthur, mint officials picked Paul, who was never a spouse to anyone, much less a president, and who spent much of her most active years battling presidents like Woodrow Wilson. The mint explained that she was “a leading strategist in the suffrage movement, who was instrumental in gaining women the right to vote upon the adoption of the 19th Amendment and thus the ability to participate in the election of future presidents.”  The mint added a second reason: She was born on Jan. 11, 1885, during the term of President Arthur.
In 1995 Paul had been honored on a 78-cent stamp. That 78 cents was the amount needed to mail a three-ounce letter, and prompted a Philadelphia Inquirer writer to note an irony: “Paul was a diminutive little woman of 90 pounds, and she appears on a stamp that goes on oversized, overweight mail of the 3-ounce variety.”
There were 100 million copies of her face printed on that stamp, while only 13,000 of the gold coins were struck. Alice Paul would have probably been embarrassed by all those paper and gold faces — she had always promoted  the “cause,” never herself.